The provincial government recently announced that the number of new cases of HIV is on the rise in Saskatchewan again.
Actually, this is not completely correct.
We don't know how many residents were newly infected with HIV last year. Our disease surveillance systems only collect information on how many new positive test reports occur each year. As well, the HIV stats reflect the year in which someone tested positive, and not the year in which they were actually infected.
Still, Saskatchewan had 186 positive test reports for HIV in 2011, which is more than the 173 positive test reports for 2010. In terms of incidence, the rate rose to 17.2 per 100,000 population in 2011, up from 16.2 in 2010.
The national average in 2011 was 6.4 per 100,000.
The government reports this is "over twice the national average" but it would be more accurate to report that the HIV rate in Saskatchewan is almost three times the national average.
Although the provincial government reported that our rate is higher because we perform more tests, this is categorically false.